Saturday, July 18, 2009

#314. Movies Where Black People Don't Save the World

In two days time, the United States will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Landing on the Moon. Contrary to those who believe in hoaxes, the US really did go to the moon. Making it to the moon was mankind's (to be truthful, European man's) greatest achievement, as visiting the stars and breaking free of the earthly shackles of confinement for adventure and progress was a major step forward in human evolution.

However, that moment of actually walking on the moon was overshadowed recently by one of the truly great moments for Black people, when in the 1996 Science-Fiction film Independence Day Black people finally saw a Black man save the world.

Will Smith is one of the first Black guys to ever save the world in a movie - granted he had help from a lot of white guys and really only flew the captured alien spaceship to the alien mother ship - and this marked a major first in motion picture history.

Smith played a Navy F-18 fighter pilot who aspired to be a NASA astronaut, but he was continually denied for, among other things, dating a stripper. Now, in reality Black people make up only 1.9 percent of United States Air Force Fighter Pilots (granted he was a Navy Fighter Pilot in the movie, but those numbers aren't available as USAF numbers are), but remember, movies are a form of escapism from reality and project what people want to see or what people want you to believe:

"Only 1.9 percent of Air Force pilots are black, according to AFPC. Of 14,130 Air Force pilots, 270 identified themselves as black; another 620 declined to report their race.

“We’ve been trying for 20 years to get more black pilots, but it’s a little lower than it was 20 years ago,” said Stewart, who is a pilot.

The drop in pilots is harder to explain but probably stems from blacks being underrepresented in the sciences and technical fields, where the Air Force gets many of its pilots, Dorn said."

What Black people don't like that much though, is the scene at the end of Independence Day that shows the alien ships being destroyed by aircraft around the world. In a montage scene, ships are seen destroyed in Australia, Egypt and Africa. In the Africa scene, a number of Africans are shown with spears celebrating, with the spaceship smoldering in the distance.

This scene is one Black people don't like very much, because it shows why all alien invasion movies are silly and, militarily, poorly planned (like why in Signs did the aliens attack a planet made of 70 percent water, when H2O kills them?): if aliens wanted to invade earth, logically they would invade Africa first, which is a continent completely devoid of air defenses, or for that matter ground defenses. Then, after establishing a foothold on earth, they could work on pacifying actual threats, like Russia, the United States, China, Israel and NATO countries.

Seeing Black people with spears - celebrating the destruction of a massive alien ship - in Independence Day reminded Black people that without European technology they would be subjected to the old adage of the gatling gun:
"Whatever happens
we have got,
the Gatling gun
and they have not."
Independence Day is one of the few movies to depict a Black person saving the world, as most movies depict white guys saving the world, which Black people do not enjoy seeing.

Take for instance two 1998 films centered around the same theme of threats from space - a giant asteroid headed to earth, heralding our eventual destruction. Deep Impact and Armageddon came out months apart and both are about the end of the world.

In both movies, a Black person is thrown onto the shuttle crews that hope to thwart the evil rocks as they traverse through space and head to earth. But both Black characters play minor roles in the movies.

However, the film Armageddon might be one of the more depressing movies for Black people to watch, as it is a glorification of everything white and perhaps the movie that both implicitly and explicitly lets the viewer know that "whiteness" is the reason the end of the world won't happen.

In that movie, all of NASA's astronauts are white; almost all the NASA crew team in Houston is white; all but one of Bruce Willis' oil drilling team (which is picked to drill a hole on the asteroid and planet a nuclear bomb into it) are white; and the President of the United States - a white guy - gives a speech that reminds Black people of the image of Africans carrying spears in Independence Day:

"I address you tonight, not as the President of the United States, not as the leader of a country, but as a citizen of humanity. We are faced with the very gravest of challenges, The Bible calls this day Armageddon. The end of all things. And yet for the first the history of the planet, a species has the technology… to prevent its own extinction. All of you praying with us need to know… that everything that can be done to prevent this disaster… is being called into service. The human thirst for excellence, knowledge every step up the ladder of science, every adventurous reach into space, all of our combined modern technologies and imaginations, even the wars that we’ve fought, have provided us the tools… to wage this terrible battle. Through all the chaos that is our history, though all of the wrongs and the discord, through all of the pain and suffering, Through all of our times, there is one thing that has… nourished our souls. And elevated our species above its origins. And that is our courage. Dreams of an entire planet are focused tonight… on those 14 brave souls… traveling into the heavens. And may we all, citizens the world over, see these events through. God speed and good luck to you."
This speech is not a celebration of anything more than "whiteness", that field of academics that studies how evil white people are, and theorizes about ways to destroy the sin of whiteness.

As Armageddon shows, without those vile white people and their technology and their desire to send rockets into space - and to invent flying - and to have the courage to fail and then try again, the world would be left in the hands of those Africans with spears from Independence Day.

The movie was made by Michael Bay, the same Michael Bay who directed - gasp - Transformers 2, which has been called a racist movie for its depiction of the two robots who have Black personalities.

Remember, the idea and goal of "whiteness studies" is to:
"The key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race, which means no more and no less than abolishing the privileges of white skin. Until that task is accomplished, even partial reform will prove elusive, because white influence permeates every issue, domestic and foreign, in U.S. society."
Of course, if this where to happen, there would be no more technology from white people to save the earth in movies, or in real life. It would be left to the capable hands of Black people, as demonstrated in Independence Day.

Stuff Black People Don't Like include movies where they don't save the world, because only through the mythical powers of cinema can such an idea ever be made reality.


Anonymous said...

you're a racist pig

Anonymous said...

I really hate points regarding black people in movies. In that photo there is 7 astronauts. 1 is black. Black people make up about 13 % of the US population. so roughly 1 in 8 people are black, now also take into account that unfortunately the vast majority of black people are below the poverty line and live in "the ghetto" it would also dictate that many of them would not acquire jobs in the likes of Nasa etc. Hispanics are now a bigger % race than blacks in america at 15% yet there is no hispanic in the photo? I thought some of your posts were funny, but I hate that racism crap, its not racist, it is fact, go into Nasa today and count how many african americans you see? I do admit that there is still racism in America but don't look for it where it isn't. And as for your post on Lord of the rings, that was written shortly after world war 2, The orcs are the nazis, and the battle between light and dark has been going on since the dawn of time, just because your skin is black doesnt mean your dark, stop over reading into things.

Anonymous said...

Black people must hate every movie then because none that I know have a black person saving the day except the few with Will Smith.

Anonymous said...